‘Suicide is an ongoing public health crisis for young people in the U.S., especially among LGBTQ youth,’ said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project.
‘Better understanding the mental health experiences of LGBTQ young people is a major step in addressing their significantly higher risk for attempting suicide.’
What needs to change to stop LGBTI youth suicide
Paley called for more inclusive and life affirming policies, environments, families, and communities. Paley said it was especially important for transgender and non-binary youth.
‘Together, we can ensure that LGBTQ young people know their lives have value, and that they are heard, loved, and never alone,’ Paley said.
The national survey is the largest survey ever conducted on the mental health of LGBTI youth in the United States.
The survey included nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth respondents. Their ages ranged between 13 and 24 from every state in the United States.
The study found that rates of suicide attempts were twice as high among respondents who reported being discriminated against or physically threatened due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, compared to those who did not. Further, 76% of the respondents felt that recent politics impacted their mental health or sense of self.
‘It’s important to note that LGBTQ youth are not at higher risk of suicide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity–they are at a higher risk because they face harmful rejection and discrimination from friends, families and communities that can make them feel their lives are worth less than their straight or cisgender peers,’ said Paley.
‘That is why it is so important that we work tirelessly to let LGBTQ youth know that they are beautiful as they are, that they are deserving of respect, and that they are not alone.’
If you or someone you know needs mental health support, please click on this link of global resources.